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jeremy lin

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I think that we all knew it was a matter of time before Jeremy Lin had a bad game.  Why do I say that?…..because even players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kobe have bad games from time to time.  Jeremy Lin has dominated the NBA for the past 10 games, and he was bound to have an off night.  Now the question remains as to how he will bounce back.  I’m betting that Lin will come back in a powerful way and get back to the form he’s shown over the past month.

What will the defenses do now?  One thing that we saw in the Miami game is that Jeremy had problems against Mario Chalmers.  Well, guess what?  A lot of NBA point guards have a tough time against Chalmers.  Mario Chalmers is one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA and it was a learning experience for Lin to go against not only Chalmers, but also Lebron and Dwayne Wade.

Nevertheless, look for NBA defenders to try to apply immense on ball defense against Lin to see how he responds.  One thing Lin can do to counteract this is to use his body more as he brings the ball up.  Towards the end of Sam Cassel’s career, Sam would literally bring the ball up the court by dribbling up the court and shoving his backside into the face of his defender.  With Jeremy Lin being as physically strong as he his, this is something that Lin can do as well.  Some coaches call this, “putting the defender on your hip.”

Hey, we knew it would happen.  I’m predicting that Lin is going to bounce back in a majorly positive way.

But ultimately it is a huge compliment to Jeremy Lin that defenses are so keyed in on stopping him.

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Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin's rise to prominence at NYC's Madison Square Garden was awe inspiring.

Top 10 Reasons Jeremy Lin is dominating:

First of all, it’s nice to see Spike Lee happy again after the disappointing Knicks struggled year after year.  Who would have ever guessed that a young asian american point guard would be the catalyst to help begin the turnaround.  Jeremy Lin is making Spike Lee happy and Lin is making a lot of basketball people and non-basketball people happy.  Here are a few reasons for his success.

10.  Defensive Play:  Frank Hamblen (One of Phil Jackson’s top assistant coaches) used to always say that if the other team finds a weak link they will pick at you “like a scab.”  Not only is Jeremy Lin a good defender, he is averaging 1.8 steals per game in the past six games.  If Lin’s overall stats only included the games where’s he’s received high minutes, Jeremy Lin would likely be in the top ten players in the league in steals alongside names like Wade, Chris Paul, and Ricky Rubio. Jeremy Lin easily holds his own on man to man defense.   He helps his teammates out a lot by playing the passing lanes and coming up with steals. Nobody is able to pick at Lin (like a scab) because he plays good defense.  Lin’s on-the-ball defense still has plenty of room for growth, but his off ball defense as evidenced by his ability to steal passes and strip players is very strong.

9. System and Minutes: Two factors that have played a role are playing time and touching the ball.  Lin is averaging almost 40 minutes a game which allows any player to find a rhythm and keep it for most of the game.  If Lin misses shots early in the game he has the confidence to know that Coach D’Antoni is going to keep him in there.  But the second factor is D’Antoni’s system itself.  Under this offensive system, Coach D asks the point guard to find the balance between scoring and setting up your teammates.  So far Lin seems to have found the perfect equilibrium in part due to the knowledge of the offense that Lin clearly has.  But the reality is also that the point guard is going to be doing the vast majority of ball handling and decision making under the typical D’Antoni system.  That helps put Lin into a rhythm from which he can build each game.

8. Athleticism: How many point guards can say they dunked down the middle of the lane in Madison Square Garden.  Not only does Lin dunk the basketball on this particular play, but he dunks the ball with authority as he drives into the lane with a purpose.  There are plenty of point guards in the NBA who won’t or can’t attack the rim with the attack mentality that Lin shows here. Jeremy Lin is a very athletic even within the NBA ranks.  And it’s nice to see the NBA’s first American of Taiwanese or Chinese origin go down the lane in MSG and throw down a dunk with authority.

7. Pick and Roll:  Lin has excellent vision in finding big men like Amare and Tyson Chandleer on all different angles of the pick and roll.  At the same time, his vision and understanding of angles allows him to pass to 3 pt. snipers like Steve Novak.  Mike D’Antoni’s offense is predicated on the pick and roll and requires a point guard who can make split second decisions which Lin does very well.  If you are a big man playing on the same team as Jeremy Lin, you are going to be licking your fingers because you know that Lin is going to get you open layups and dunks inside if you are ready to catch passes.  After the win at Toronto Amare Stoudamire talked about Lin and his “poise.”  Amare has seen poise before with two time MVP point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix. At the same time players like Steve Novak are happy because Lin is making everyone else better on the team and Novak is one of the beneficiaries of this also. When Jeremy Lin comes off the pick and roll it looks natural, fluid, and that something positive is going to happen for the Knicks. [content_ads float=”left”]

6. Confidence, Emotion, and Aggressiveness: When I was going through the pre-draft workout process one of the Chicago scouts commented that he liked to see players with a little bit of emotion.  Players like Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls) feed on energy and sometimes that energy transfers to teammates, fans, and coaches.  Jeremy Lin is not only showing us his passion for the game, but his aggressiveness and confidence continue to shine through.  After Lin had his first breakout game, (10 made shots on 19 attempts) everyone was curious to see what would happen in the very next game.   Lin came out again and was 10 for 17.  What that says is that Lin is not afraid of success.  He’s not the type of player to have one good game and then get scared. Lin is hungry to push himself and his teammates to the next level.  Lin’s not afraid to show some emotion.  He’s got the swagger that makes any opponent wonder to themselves, “That basket must look like the size of the ocean for this kid.”